Senate Republicans: Nomination of Pro-Abortion Elena Kagan Would Spark Court Fight

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 11, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Senate Republicans: Nomination of Pro-Abortion Elana Kagan Would Spark Court Fight

by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 11
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — Senate Republicans responded to the retirement of pro-abortion Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens by saying one of the top potential replacements Obama may look to would cause a significant battle. GOP members of the Senate Judiciary Committee indicated a nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan, an abortion advocate, would spark opposition.

Top Republicans on the panel spoke out in advance of what is expected to be a clash on a likely pro-abortion nominee.

“Our nation deserves a Supreme Court nominee who is committed to deciding cases impartially based on the law, not on personal politics, preferences, or what’s in the nominee’s ‘heart,’” said Sen. John Cornyn, a pro-life Texas Republican who is a member of the committee.

“Every president has an obligation to nominate judges who understand and are committed to their proper role in our system of government,” added Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican and former chair of the committee.

One Republican staffer on the Senate Judiciary Committee told the Daily Caller that Kagan lacks a judicial record that would allow fa vigorous debate of the law.

The staffer also said Kagan is less desirable than other potential Supreme Court selections.

“A record like hers is harder to nail down than, say, a judge who has lots of opinions,” one Republican staffer on the Senate Judiciary Committee said. “The debate is, or should be, really about the criteria.”

The lack of a legal record would make it difficult for Republicans to criticize her on specific cases that constitute the legal records of other potential nominees who have served as lower court judges.

Kagan was the dean of Harvard Law school and has spent most of her career in academia and government — in part as a legal counsel in the administration of pro-abortion President Bill Clinton –and prior to becoming the attorney for the Obama administration before the Supreme Court. spoke last week with Wendy Wright, the president of Concerned Women for America, who said Kagan was Associate Counsel to President Bill Clinton and Deputy Assistant to him for domestic policy — which, under Clinton, advocated abortion.

Kagan was credited by the ACLU with “shaping Clinton’s policy on hate crimes," Wright noted.

"The Clinton Administration treated pro-life activists like violent criminals, creating a task force in the Department of Justice and a grand jury to investigate peaceful pro-lifers. This raises serious concerns that she shares the hostile view that religious beliefs are a form of ‘hate,’" she said.

Kagan may be sympathetic to the views of internationalists, those who would impose international norms on Americans, including an unlimited abortion right.

"Abortion groups are actively attempting to create the impression that international norms require countries to provide access to abortion. During Kagan’s nomination hearing for Solicitor General, Senator Specter questioned her about the use of foreign sources of law in constitutional decision-making," Wright said.

Kagan said before: ""At least some members of the Court find foreign law relevant in at least some contexts. When this is the case, I think the Solicitor General’s office should offer reasonable foreign law arguments to attract these Justices’ support for the positions that the office is taking."

But Wright responded to "A Supreme Court justice needs to be absolutely committed to the Constitution, proficient in their knowledge and ability to make rock-solid arguments on the basis of the Constitution and federal laws. If Elena Kagan needs to rely on foreign sources, it is an admission that her arguments are weak or she is incapable of handling the requirements of the office."

Kagan has also come under criticism from Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the pro-life women’s group Susan B. Anthony List.

She told previously, "In the past Kagan has been a strong supporter of the pro-abortion agenda. She has vigorously opposed the de-funding of taxpayer-funded clinics which promote abortions, despite the fact that a majority of Americans do not want their tax dollars to fund abortion providers."

Although pro-life advocates would strongly oppose Kagan’s nomination, one indication she could face an easier time is that she is already getting support from phony pro-life advocates who back President Barack Obama and his pro-abortion nominees.

Catholic scholar and Obama ambassador to Malta Douglas Kmiec told the Daily Caller that Kagan is "not my first choice" but called her fair-minded when it comes to conservative legal advocates.

Obama and Senate Democrats have the votes to push through a radical pro-abortion nominee but some political observers believe Obama will push for someone equally pro-abortion but perceived as moderate to avoid a bruising political fight before the November congressional elections.

Others, like pro-life advocate Gary Bauer, say a nominee will be more moderate because the replacement for Stevens will merely be a substitution of a like-minded liberal justice rather than putting an abortion advocate in the place of a conservative jurist.

"Here’s some good news. By replacing Stevens, Obama, thankfully, is not going to change the ideological balance of the Supreme Court," Bauer said. "Moreover, Senate liberals, many of whom need to be back in their states campaigning for reelection, are not looking forward to another high-profile fight."

The two other names that most observers agree are most likely to be nominated are federal judges with long records on the bench: Diane Wood from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and Merrick B. Garland from the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

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